Myopathy of Chronic Organophosphate Poisoning: A Clinical Entity?

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Abstract

The acute aspects of organophosphate poisoning are well understood. Persistent weakness and muscular wasting in some cases have been attributed to neuropathic effects resulting in muscular atrophy from denervation. Recently, necrosis of skeletal muscle has been induced by chronic inhibition of cholinesterase with organic phosphates in a reproducible experimental model. The literature on organophosphate poisoning in man alludes to cases in which it appears plausible to postulate this mechanism as a cause of a residual myopathy. A new case in which chronic organophosphate intoxication may be implicated in the etiology of a proximal myopathy is presented. Reports of additional cases, followed up from the onset of symptoms, are needed to determine whether primary myopathic effects are a clinically significant complication of chronic organophosphate poisoning.

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